Three Cuts: Teheran, Gattis help Braves blank Phillies
APR 16, 2014 10:26p ET
1. Julio Teheran doesn't need warm weather to dominate the competition in April
At 23 years old and hailing from tropical Colombia (South America), Teheran should neither have tangible experience nor great comfort when pitching on cold nights at the ballpark (43 degrees).
But there he was on Wednesday, stifling the Phillies for just three hits, zero hits and zero runs and becoming the first Braves pitcher in two years to hurl a complete-game shutout (Kris Medlen in August 2012).
Teheran had pitched well enough to win his first three starts of the year, racking up one win, nine total strikeouts and a 2.84 ERA. But his fourth outing was masterful, collecting four strikeouts against Philly and pinpointing strikes on 75 of 115 pitches.
For good measure, Teheran -- who retired the first 12 batters of the game -- didn't pitch to more than four Phillies hitters until the ninth inning. For that stanza, the drama revolved around Jimmy Rollins getting a two-out base hit and then stealing second with Chase Utley at the plate.
About that cold weather ...
Around this time last year, Teheran kick-started his rookie campaign with a dynamite effort on the most blustery day of the 2013 MLB season:
After struggling in his first three MLB starts, Teheran braved the 30-degree temperatures in Denver (significantly lower wind-chill factor) and stymied the Rockies bats, allowing just one run, one walk and eight hits, while fueling Atlanta's 10 -2 rout of Colorado.
From that point forward, Teheran would surrender just three runs or less in 20 of 25 starts and walk three or fewer batters 25 times. He also registered three outings of double-digit strikeouts in that span.
2. Evan Gattis supporters could have made a killing with Vegas on Wednesday
Just think of the odds one could have gotten earlier in the day, betting that Gattis would be the lone Brave to tally four hits off the amazing Cliff Lee (13 strikeouts vs. the Braves), who surrendered just one run to Atlanta -- a fourth-inning solo blast from the aforementioned Gattis.
As such, the Braves catcher raised his batting average 72 points in a three-hour window, notching one homer and three singles against the Phillies southpaw.
Counting both teams, Gattis was just one of two baserunners to safely reach third base for the night (along with Dan Uggla).
Gattis had a slow start to the season, collecting just four hits in his first 20 at-bats (through April 10). But of his last four outings, the slugger has rebounded for 10 hits (17 at-bats), three homers and six RBI -- the kind of production Atlanta desperately needs in the bottom half of its batting order.
(For good measure, Chris Johnson had three hits against Lee, boosting his own batting average to .280.)
The only knock on Gattis to date? He has yet to draw a walk ... which explains the double-take absurdity of posting identical tallies with batting average and on-base percentage -- at .375.
3. It wouldn't hurt Atlanta to build a nice April cushion in the NL East ... to compensate for a potentially treacherous May slate
After that, Atlanta must brace for 23 May games against the Giants, Cardinals (twice), Rockies, Brewers and world champion Red Sox ... with only a "breather" series against the lowly Cubs (4-9) in that span.